You might not know about Perdue Farms by name, but you’ve probably bought its products before. The multi-billion dollar company is primarily known for its chicken, turkey, and pork products. But the company also wants you to know that it’s making a push for sustainability.
Today, the company announced it had “become the first poultry company in the United States to have pollinator-friendly ground cover at a company solar installation,” according to the company shares in a press release.
And recently, the company announced it became GreenCircle Zero Waste certified, which means “100 percent of the waste materials leaving [its] facility are diverted from landfill.”
Perdue Farms creates a pollinator-friendly habitat throughout solar installation
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 75 percent of food crops partially rely on pollination. And fruits, vegetables, and soybeans — which are especially a key component to chickens’ diets — all benefit from pollination.
Plus, land near solar panels often goes unused, which presents a great opportunity for habitats. Now, “The Perdue Farms habitat consists of 41 different types of flowers and grasses including Black Eyed Susan, Alsike Clover, Sawtooth Sunflower, Narrow-Leaf Milkweed, Purple Coneflower and more,” the company says.
Efforts to have pollinator-friendly ground cover are also vital for the honeybee population. After all, it saw a 40 percent decline in managed populations from 2018 to 2019.
In 2018, Perdue Farms partnered with Fresh Energy, a “catalyzer of pollinator-friendly soil,” and Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund, which aims to increase and improve pollinator habitat and forage, in order to bring its habitat project to life.
Remembering the animal abuse scandal of 2015 — and what followed
Despite the do-good nature of Perdue Farms’ recent work, it is indeed the same company that went through a huge animal abuse scandal in 2015. For context, Perdue Farms came under fire in 2015 after Mercy for Animals published a video showing chicken abuse in the company’s North Carolina facility.
The video showed chickens being kicked, thrown, and stomped on. And one of the company’s employees, Danny Cajija Miranda, was charged on four counts of animal cruelty that year.
But instead of condemning the video released by Mercy for Animals, Perdue Farms thanked the organization for exposing the abuse. And just recently, Perdue Farms achieved its third consecutive year of a Tier 2 ranking from the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare, putting the company in the top 15 percent of more than 150 global food companies on animal welfare.
Lauren Beauban is an Editorial Fellow at theRising, where she covers sustainability news and influential people in the industry. She is also interested in environmental policy and how it affects people. You can pitch her stories at firstname.lastname@example.org